Top 10 International Bands To Discover at MPF

Manchester Punk Festival is a brilliant opportunity to catch bands from around the world that you might never see otherwise. These are our top picks.

Article by Sarah Williams.

Every year Manchester Punk Festival bring some brilliant bands from around the world to our little Northern city, this year upping their game with international headliners like Propagandhi, Iron Chic and Death By Stereo.

Although there’s no shortage of acts to see, it’s worth grasping the opportunity to experience artists from further afield. There’s a wealth of talent from America, Russia, Japan, Australia and mainland Europe to enjoy. Last year, my favourite sets included Edward in Venice (Italy), Sweet Empire (Netherlands), Kollapse (Denmark) and Clowns (Australia), none of whom I’d had the chance to see before.

Note: The aim of this list is to highlight some great bands that you might otherwise dismiss because you’ve not heard of them – some are less well-known, others are big names that I’ve highlighted in case they’ve slipped by you in the past. However, I have deliberately excluded major acts that I assume everyone knows (i.e. Death By Stereo, Propagandhi, Iron Chic, The Copyrights). Obviously you should check them out too.

Either way, here are our top international bands worth discovering at MPF 2018 (in no particular order):

The Bennies (Melbourne, Australia)

I tend to assume everyone’s heard of The Bennies now, but then I’m reminded of the last time I saw them back in July last year. They supported their besties The Smith Street Band on tour and, apart from in London, they seemed to surprise audiences in every venue they played. In Norwich, the crowd began the set looking utterly bewildered, but by the end they were dancing and chanting, “Hey motherfucker, I’m a party machine!”

If you’ve seen The Bennies before, you’ll be going to see them again. If you’ve not seen The Bennies before, I highly recommend you go party with them; they are the ideal festival-fun band. Coming all the way from Australia, they play a mix of dance, ska, psych, funk, doom, 80s rock and punk that’s mashed together in this incredible spandex-clad surfer-beach-hair can’t-not-dance catastrophe.

The Bennies are playing in The Bread Shed at 18:05 on Friday.

Svetlanas (Moscow / Milan)

I’m not going to lie, the first time I listened to Svetlanas they scared the hell out of me. It’s proper hard-rocking punk straight out of Russia, like Motorhead have been doused in Petrol Girls, lit on fire and let loose on Red Square. Singer, Olga, has amusingly (and surprisingly accurately) been described by Jello Biafra as having a voice like an angry, cornered mongoose and they’ve been celebrated for their chaotic live presence.

Alongside their ferocious music, they are known for their vehement politically left bearing and, despite gaining a lot of critical acclaim, they’ve remained firmly DIY. After releasing a split with The Dwarves, they also attracted the attention of Nick Oliveri, who officially joined the band in 2016.

Svetlanas are playing in The Bread Shed at 19:45 on Saturday.

Mobina Galore (Winnipeg, Canada)

Mobina Galore are coming all the way from Canada with their pals Propagandhi. You may already be familiar with them, as they’ve toured here before with Against Me, PUP and Milk Teeth, and they’ve previously played Groezrock, etc.

It’s very easy to compare punk bands with female vocals to Distillers, but the comparison stands here, although Mobina Galore’s sound is cleaner and more stripped back. They’re a female duo who play heavy power punk in the form of consistently strong, memorable tunes, with an impressive undercurrent of attitude. This is proper, vocally aggressive, chainsaw riot grrl punk.

Mobina Galore are playing in Gorilla at 19:55 on Saturday, just before Propagandhi.

Continue reading “Top 10 International Bands To Discover at MPF”

MPF Band Spotlight: Wolfbeast Destroyer [Interview]

Manchester Punk Festival Band Spotlight: Wolfbeast Destroyer will be delivering some enthrallingly heavy D-beat crust.

It’s all gone a bit MPF mad here at Shout Louder HQ. There are so many great bands that we don’t know where to begin! To help you make the most of the festival, we have spoken to a handful of the bands we’re most excited to see. Even if you’re not coming to MPF, there’s plenty to learn and enjoy.

We will be posting every other day in the lead up to Manchester Punk Festival. Check out the full series here.

Band Spotlight: Wolfbeast Destroyer

Wolfbeast Destroyer are one of the heaviest bands on the years bill of this year’s Manchester Punk Festival. They are a supremely loud, enthralling D-beat hardcore 5-piece from Boston, near Lincoln. We’re quietly partial to a bit of crust here at Shout Louder so we strongly recommend you check them out if you want your bones rattled and your blood boiled.

We spoke to Craig and DTL (guitars) to learn more.

Why should people come check out your set at Manchester Punk Festival?

We try to keep things heavy, we try to keep things fast and we have a stupid name. Why wouldn’t anyone want to check that out?

What should people do to prepare for coming to see you?

I don’t think it will take a lot of preparation, just have a drink and come party with us.

Which bands are you most looking forward to seeing at the festival, and why?

Speedozer and Regret, both great bands.

If MPF was the olympics, which festival sport would you win gold in?

Is eating chips a sport?

Propagandhi or Iron Chic?

It’s a mixed bag some of us like both, some of us like one and some of us like none. Hope that clears things up. Continue reading “MPF Band Spotlight: Wolfbeast Destroyer [Interview]”

MPF Band Spotlight: RUSSO [Interview]

Manchester Punk Festival Band Spotlight: Enthralling songwriting genius Sam Russo will be playing a rare full-band set.

It’s all gone a bit MPF mad here at Shout Louder HQ. There are so many great bands that we don’t know where to begin! To help you make the most of the festival, we have spoken to a handful of the bands we’re most excited to see. Even if you’re not coming to MPF, there’s plenty to learn and enjoy.

We will be posting every day in the lead up to Manchester Punk Festival. Check out the full series here.

Band Spotlight: RUSSO

Easily one of the most exciting prospects of this year’s Manchester Punk Festival is the opportunity to catch Sam Russo with a full band. Known for his clever lyrics, enthralling storytelling and affable, wry persona, Sam Russo’s charming acoustic folk has been a highlight in the punk scene for many years. RUSSO as a full band take all of Sam’s songwriting talent and bring to it a gusto and force that simply isn’t possible with one man. We can’t wait to hear it.

As it’s one of their first outings as a full band, we spoke to Sam Russo to find out more.

Why should people come check out your set at Manchester Punk Festival?

  1. To get a good spot for The Copyrights.
  2. Our guitarist is going to wear a black velvet shirt with embroidered tribal dragons on it. He sweats a lot.
  3. New full band Sam Russo punk rock songs that rip.
  4. Turgid banter.
  5. Life is short.

You’re known for your solo performances, however you’ve recently put together a full band: Russo. Why did you decide to put a band together now, after years on your own?

I’ve always wanted to play full band, and most of what I’ve written solo is written with a band in mind. I guess I just never got the right people together. It’s hard enough for me to get three people together for a beer let alone to form a band! I guess I’m hard to play music with!

When the people I’m playing with now agreed to give it a shot I just ran with it. We’re all great friends – I think that’s the key. I can’t play music with dicks. Well, I can’t play music with dicks I don’t like… I like these dicks a lot, I trust them, they’re cool as hell and we have fun so it works.

We’re actually all very different people which makes it really hilarious. I’m by far the least talented in the band: Katie’s a real musician – total multi-instrumental hero – she’s played with Pablo from Joe Strummer and The Mescaleros and rips a mean sax. Chris is one of the best tattoo artists in the country, as well as a director and photographer, and he’s played in a bunch of awesome stadium rock bands. Marty is a full-time drum teacher and kid’s party magician with a music degree. I’m the only guy with zero legitimate skills and a Squier guitar haha! That’s the secret people, surround yourself with weirdo geniuses and eventually you’ll pick up a thing or two…

I’ve heard the full-band Russo experience described as ‘magical’. What would you describe it as?

An orgy of solitude.Sam Russo Live.jpg Continue reading “MPF Band Spotlight: RUSSO [Interview]”

Shout Louder Podcast #4: Manchester Punk Festival Special

Mark and Sarah discuss all things MPF 2018 including insider tips and line-up clashes, plus we announce the Wotsit Called Fest headliner!

We are so excited to share Podcast #4 with you! This is our favourite one so far; we just hope you love it as much as we do. You can listen on iTunes, Soundcloud and many other podcatchers, or on the link below.

Recorded in the extremely silly, hungover aftermath of Dugstock Festival Mark and Sarah discuss all things Manchester Punk Festival in detail. We pick through the whole line-up, talk about the festival’s history and give you insider tips on surviving the weekend. Even if you’re not attending the festival, it’s worth a listen to hear some fantastic punk tunes and to laugh at how tired we are.

Stay tuned till the end as we will also be proudly announcing the Friday night headliner of Wotsit Called Festival. Wotsit Called was one of our top festivals of 2017 and it’s growing even bigger this year. It takes place on the last weekend of September at The Palace in Hastings – you can book tickets here. We can’t wait to tell you who they’ve booked!

The podcast is available on iTunes (here) and all other good podcatchers, or you can listen to it right now:

These are the songs we play:

Continue reading “Shout Louder Podcast #4: Manchester Punk Festival Special”

MPF Band Spotlight: Captain Trips [Interview]

Manchester Punk Festival Band Spotlight: Captain Trips will be bringing some fast, heavy skate-punk straight from the South Coast. Stoked.

It’s all gone a bit MPF mad here at Shout Louder HQ. There are so many great bands that we don’t know where to begin! To help you make the most of the festival, we have spoken to a handful of the bands we’re most excited to see. Even if you’re not coming to MPF, there’s plenty to learn and enjoy.

We will be posting every day in the lead up to Manchester Punk Festival. Check out the full series here.

Band Spotlight: Captain Trips

Keen Shout Louder readers will know that we’re massive fans of Fareham’s Captain Trips. They toe the line of seriously exciting skate-punk, they organise Punkle Fester and in their upcoming new EP they’re delving into an Iron Maiden-like melting pot of heavier, harder rock. If you like your hardcore melodic and if you like your covers to be 80’s power ballads then you will enjoy this band.

I was so excited to see them pop on the Manchester Punk Festival lineup that I had to speak to singer/guitarist Rich Mayor to learn more (and to wind up Manchester locals Fair Dos).

Why should people come check out your set at Manchester Punk Festival?

Well hello, Shout Louder, I trust you’re keeping well. That’s a great question, and if it’s ok with you I’d like to take a moment to speak directly with the people… Hi people, my name’s Rich Mayor from Captain Trips. We’re playing on the Thursday at Manchester Punk Festival. Please come and see us because we would really like it if you did.

Which bands are you most excited to see at the festival, and why?

The line-up is pretty incredibly stacked this year, but before I find out they all clash with each other I hope to see Propagandhi, because I called them headlining when chatting with Danny from Fair Do’s before the line-up was announced. He lied to my face and said they weren’t playing. And you think you know someone…

Anyway, Eat Defeat for the fun times, Wonk Unit because they are also much fun, Waterweed because that’ll be new fun, Darko for old fun, and Fair Do’s because it’s the only way I get to hear their new tunes. I thought we were pretty good at taking ages to get stuff recorded and out there but these guys are just… Incredible. Next level shit.

EDIT: I answered these questions prior to the running times were announced. However, I have minimal clashes the whole weekend, there must have been a large Tree-like guardian angel looking out for me. Also, we’re playing with Waterweed in Pompey the day before MPF. I stand by my comments about the Do’s.

Your influences seem to fall somewhere between Propagandhi and John Farnham. Are there a lot of different tastes in the band?

Yeah for sure. Lee and Phil like a lot of the more rocky side of punk, Andi was a massive metalhead before he saw the punk rock light and I solely listen to power ballads. We package all these styles up and pop them through the fast skate-punk wringer and deliver it to your door. Maybe we should have called ourselves John Gandhi. Or Propagarnham. Definitely Propagarnham. Continue reading “MPF Band Spotlight: Captain Trips [Interview]”

MPF Band Spotlight: Fresh [Interview]

Manchester Punk Festival Band Spotlight: Sharp London indie-punks Fresh provide delightful, catchy, poppy punk.

It’s all gone a bit MPF mad here at Shout Louder HQ. There are so many great bands that we don’t know where to begin! To help you make the most of the festival, we have spoken to a handful of the bands we’re most excited to see. Even if you’re not coming to MPF, there’s plenty to learn and enjoy.

We will be posting every other day in the lead up to Manchester Punk Festival. Check out the full series here.

Band Spotlight: Fresh

Fresh are exactly that: seriously fresh, sharp, poppy tunes from London. They’re part of the Specialist Subject family, playing in a similar style to Shit Present and Honey Joy. At Shout Louder we have been really enjoying their self-titled debut album, which is full of honest, irreverent songwriting and memorable melodies.

We spoke to singer/guitarist Kathryn Woods to learn more.

What can people expect from your set at Manchester Punk Festival?

Lots of riffs and lots of harmonies. I will have had a lot of beer. Also, more importantly, we’ll be testing out new songs!

Which bands are you most excited to see at the festival, and why?

I have never seen The Spook School, and I’ve only seen The Tuts once, so those two are high on my must-see list. The Bennies seem like they’d be fun to watch at a festival, and I’m always excited to see Happy Accidents.

Fresh is the perfect name for your band – that’s exactly what everything you release sound like: fresh. That being said, it’s really hard to search for your band name on the internet. If you weren’t called Fresh, what would you be called?

I have no idea. I think names aren’t as important as people might think. I just wanted a divinité name so that I could write music for something. I didn’t anticipate that people would ever search for us on the internet anyway, so that’s my bad!

On a serious note, it really is a beautiful sound. What inspires you when you’re writing songs?

Sometimes it’s anger about living as a woman with depression, but I also write a lot off feeling happy and peaceful. Whatever floats the narrative at the time!

What other big things are coming up for Fresh this year?

Festival-wise, we will be playing Rock the Baita Fest in Italy, and Fiest in Madrid. I have never been to either of those places!

In May we will be doing some shows with The Beths from New Zealand, and in June we’re doing a UK tour with Great Wight from New York! So we’re keeping busy. Continue reading “MPF Band Spotlight: Fresh [Interview]”

MPF Band Spotlight: Uniforms [Interview]

Manchester Punk Festival Band Spotlight: Dundee’s Uniforms promise us to ‘a half hour of nae messin bangers’. Stay up for their gritty melodic punk rock at the afterparty.

It’s all gone a bit MPF mad here at Shout Louder HQ. There are so many great bands that we don’t know where to begin! To help you make the most of the festival, we have spoken to a handful of the bands we’re most excited to see. Even if you’re not coming to MPF, there’s plenty to learn and enjoy.

We will be posting every other day in the lead up to Manchester Punk Festival. Check out the full series here.

Band Spotlight: Uniforms

MPF 2018 marks a special appearance for Uniforms, who took a break in 2014 and have only just returned for a handful of shows. Hailing from Dundee in eastern Scotland, they’ll be treating us to some gritty, melodic punk rock to close off the festival on Saturday. They have incredibly good energy live, so it’s worth pacing yourself over the weekend to make the most of their afterparty set.

We spoke to frontman Derrick Johnston, who also heads up respected Scottish DIY label Make-That-A-Take Records to find out more.

Why should people come check out your set at Manchester Punk Festival?

Obviously people are not compelled to come and see us but should they choose to do so, they’ll be guaranteed some heart-on-sleeve rapid punk rock goodness, a dose of hefty real talk and a half hour of nae messin’ bangers.

We’ve been having loads of piley-ons recently, it’s actually a private Uniforms ritual that we’ve been indulging in publicly for the first time, so it’s not outwith the boundaries of possibility that we’ll have a pop punk piley at MPF.

Which bands are you most excited to see at the festival, and why?

The line-up is just jaw-droppingly good. I’ve been friends with the MPF troops for a long time now and I’m so proud of everything that they achieved. It’s also very exciting to be sharing the bill with some MTAT troops and we’ll be down the front for Goodbye Blue Monday, PMX and Forever Unclean for sure. I never thought I’d see the day where our band would be on a bill with Propagandhi. The Copyrights are my quite possibly my favourite pop punk band on earth and I couldn’t be more excited to see them in the UK for the first time.

You’ve been to Manchester Punk Festival before as Tragical History Tour – what was the best thing about last year?

It was an absolute privilege to play last year in between friends ONSIND and Billy Liar. The whole thing was tremendous and a testament to the will and passion of everyone involved in making it happen. Petrol Girls made the hair on my neck stand on end and watching Paint It Black in a massive club was quite the intense experience. It felt like a family reunion to me, an opportunity to catch up with people we’ve met over the years of involvement in the UK punk scene who are rarely all in the same place. Did you even go to the punk fest if you weren’t sitting in the gutter with the crust punks. Continue reading “MPF Band Spotlight: Uniforms [Interview]”